Welcome to the May 2019 Edition of the GEN Monthly Newsletter! A month has passed again and May was such a productive month. A lot of workshops and events were organised and the call for proposal for EU project was announced in May and other activities are underway.
We always request a GEN member, friend or staff to provide some insight into their participation with GEN. This month, we request an INGO member International Alert, who is also an active member, to share their feelings and experience with GEN.
It is my pleasure to write a greeting letter to GEN members from International Alert, a peacebuilding organisations working with people directly affected by conflict to build sustainable, inclusive peace.
I’m Myat Thandar Ko and work with International Alert on conflict sensitivity and gender, peace and security. Conflict sensitivity means understanding the two-way impact of your project on the context and understanding the impact of conflict dynamics on your project. Conflict affects women, men, girls and boys in different ways, and gender inequality undermines the long-term prospects for peace and development. So, we help improve relations between women and men at home and in their communities, strengthening their capacity to respond peacefully to problems when they arise and to build a peaceful future for them and their societies.
Gender does not mean only women so we are working on engaging masculinities and men related to peace and conflict, undertaking research, policy analysis and advocacy, and providing training. To work for gender equality means working with all parts of society to achieve social norm transformation, with women, with men, and those with diverse gender identities. We also work on SGBV prevention, and to ensure women’s participation in conflict sensitive natural resource management. We are a member of the Gender Equality Network (GEN) to support long-term positive peace by promoting gender equality in Myanmar and we appreciate the exchange and coordination with GEN members and CU.
Let’s work together for a peaceful and inclusive Myanmar!
GEN’s research team participated in the Research Questionnaires Development Workshop organised at Asian Institute of Technology in Bangkok, Thailand on 26thand 27th May. AIT partners and GEN-CU staff attended and the workshop focused on the revision and review of the overviews, concepts, objectives of the research and methodology. And with the results of the Stakeholder Consultation workshop, research questionnaires which will be used were brainstormed and produced. The further process of research was discussed and agreed upon the presented partners.
Gender Equality Network participated in the Civil Society Research Forum: “Understanding Indirect Costs and Strengthening Civil Society” organized by LIFT today on 30th April at Novotel Hotel. GEN’s Director Daw May Sabe Phyu participated as a panellist in the panel discussion on the effectiveness of indirect costs and civil society’s views on LIFT civil society strengthening approaches together with other panellists. GEN’s IEC materials are also distributed to the attendees.
Gender Equality Network participated in the May Day Campaigns, one in Hlaing Thar Yar and one in North Dagon, which are organised in honour of the 129th International Labour Day by labour organisations. GEN's publications were displayed and distributed to the attendees.
Engaging Men working group meeting was held today on 2nd May (Tuesday) from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm at GEN’s Resource Center. Members discussed their activities of what they did and what they will do in the future.
Violence Against Women Technical Working Group which is one of the technical working groups of Myanmar National Committee for Women held its first quarterly meeting for 2019 on 3rd May at GEN’s Resource Centre. Government officials, representatives from INGOs, NGOs, CSOs and Embassies attended and there were 47 participants (6 M, 41 F). Our sincere thanks to everyone who joined and participated in the meeting.
Gender, Workplace and Labour workshop was held by Gender Equality Network on 2nd May & 3rd May 2019 at Grand Ballroom, Chatrium Hotel. U Khin Maung Thwin (Deputy Director, Divisional Officer, Department of Labour Relation, Ministry of Labour, Immigration and Population) and Daw Thin Thin Mar (Deputy Director, Department of Social Welfare, Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement,) gave the opening speech. Daw Yu Yu Wai (Assistant Director, Department of Social Welfare Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement) presented the NSPAW and International Conventions. During this workshop, Gender Equality Network presented the research on Gender, Workplace and Labour, Sector of Gender and Gender Equality. 30 participants (4 M, 26 F) joined the workshop from Ministry of Labour, Immigration and Population, the participants discussed Labour, Workplace and Gender in Myanmar, how to involve for the gender equality from their labour and workplace by group work. Group discussion and Q & A session followed after the discussion.
Stakeholder consultation workshop on Masculinity Identity Construction: Attitudes and Perceptions of Male Perpetrators on Sexual Violence Against Women was held on 17 May 2019 at Horizon Lake View Hotel in Nay Pyi Taw. Union Minister Dr Win Myat Aye from the Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement gave the opening speech followed by the welcome speech of GEN’s Director. There were 46 participants (20 M, 26 F) including government officials from the Department of Social Welfare, Myanmar Prison Departments, Department of Psychology and Myanmar Police Force.
1st May 2019 - GEN’s Director and civic leaders in Myanmar met with Mr David Hale, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs of the United States of America at American Center, Yangon to share their experience to work for democracy, peace and freedom in Myanmar for decades.
2nd May 2019 – GEN’s National Consultant provided a gender equality training to 15 young people from the Institut Europee’n Cooperation et de D’eveloppement (IECD) as their project involves giving disadvantaged Myanmar youth a good quality training in bakery and pastry but also to prepare them to the labour market, teaching them English and life skills (half of the training time). Part of the life skill class involves many topics relevant to young adults to enter and grow their professional and personal career. Gender Equality, gender discrimination and gender-based violence are considered as important topics to be covered in the training.
2nd – 3rd May 2019 – Gender Equality Network conducted a two-day training named ‘Gender, Workplace and Labour Workshop’ at Chatrium Hotel. GEN’s Director facilitated the training. 30 (4 M, 26 F) participants from the Ministry of Labour, Immigration and Population attended the training. The participants discussed labour, workplace and gender in Myanmar, how to involve for the gender equality from their labour and workplace by the group. Group discussion and Q & A session followed after the discussion. The training covered basic gender concepts, gender equality and women empowerment, discussion on NSPAW and group work to draw up a future work plan.
7th – 8th May 2019 – GEN Advisor attended the “Advisory Forum on National Reconciliation and Peace in Myanmar”, held in Nay Pyi Taw. It was inaugurated by the State Counsellor, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi highlighting the importance of working with religious institutions and religious teachings to obtain sustainable peace in Myanmar. GEN Advisor joined the working group on “Women’s Empowerment and Participation” to discuss how to ensure the inclusiveness of women in the peacebuilding process.
7th May 2019 – GEN’s Project Manager for the EU Project attended the EU Day Ceremony in Nay Pyi Taw. It was a National Ceremony and the Celebration Grand Party and attended by the high-level representative of the National Authority and invited Civil Society Organisations.
8th – 11th May 2019 – GEN’s Director and SC member Daw Kyawt Kyawt Khaing attended the second quarterly Steering Committee Meeting hosted by Alliance for Gender Inclusion in the Peace Process (AGIPP) held in Nyaung Shwe, Shan State from 9 May to 11 May. The Steering Committee members from 7 alliance partners and the secretariat team shared their current activities and reviewed AGIPP’s policies. AGIPP’s secretariat team presented current implementation activities and discussed upcoming work plans.
13th– 15th May 2019 – GEN’s Director conducted a three-day "Gender Awareness Training" at Mawk Kon Local Development Organization in Keng Tung. The training was organized by Myanmar Institute for Integrated Development (MIID). A total of 14 participants (9 F, 5 M) from Keng Tung Youth Organization, Braveheart, Mawk Kon Local Development Organization, Tai Youth Organization, KLBA and Akha Organization joined the training.
17th May 2019 – GEN’s Director participated and gave the welcome speech at stakeholder consultation workshop on masculinity Identity Construction: Attitudes and Perceptions of Male Perpetrators on Sexual Violence against Women which was held on 17 May 2019 in Nay Pyi Taw. Union Minister Dr Win Myat Aye, Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement delivered an opening speech. There were 46 participants (20 M, 26 F) including government officials from the Department of Social Welfare, Myanmar Prison Departments, Department of Psychology and Myanmar Police Force.
21st May 2019 - GEN Advisor participated in the coordination meeting of “Gender Equality and Women Empowerment – Development Partners Group” held at UNWOMEN office. Main issues discussed around the formation of tripartite co-facilitators in which the Embassy of Canada has been selected as the new bilateral co-chair and the self-nomination of local NGO co-chair is ongoing.
21st May 2019 - GEN Advisor participated in the forum entitled “The Prospects of Advancement for Women? WLB’s Analysis of National Strategic Plan for the Advancement of Women”, organized by WLB at Green Hill Hotel, Yangon. The analysis of NSPAW was shared and discussion focused on the challenges of implementation of the plan.
20th– 22nd May 2019 – GEN’s Director attended “Better Peace Symposium II: Expert Group Meeting” which was held at the Permanent Mission of the United Kingdom in New York, USA from 21st to 22nd May 2019 and participated as a presenter in the panel session: “Sharing findings and discussing follow-up” to share and discuss with UN policymakers’ finding and recommendations of the working sessions. The Symposium was hosted by The International Civil Society Action Network (ICAN) and attended by 46 participants including experienced practitioners, policymakers and women peacebuilders from Afghanistan, Colombia, Liberia, Myanmar, Nepal, Nigeria, Northern Ireland, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Syria and Yemen.
23rd– 24th May 2019 – GEN’s Director participated in the Oslo Conference Ending Sexual and Gender-based Violence in Humanitarian Crises which was organised by Norwegian Government together with the governments of Iraq, Somalia, United Arab Emirates, United Nations entities OCHA and UNFPA and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). On the first day of the conference, she spoke as a panel in the session: “Enhancing the Capacities of Women-led and Women’ Rights Organizations as First-responders in Line with the Localization Agenda.
24th May 2019 - GEN director joined the closed-door meeting with Mr Mark Lowcock, Under-Secretary-General and Emergency Relief Coordinator during the Oslo Conference Ending Sexual and Gender-based Violence in Humanitarian Crises.
24th May 2019 - GEN Advisor participated in the “Media and Communication for Development Forum” organized by BBC Media Action, from 23-25 May 2019 at Inya Lake Hotel, Yangon. GEN had organised a booth to exhibit and distribute GEN’s publications and GEN Advisor presented and led the discussion on the role of media in advancing women’s rights and gender issues in Myanmar.
6th– 24th May 2019 – With the support of Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) and Statistics Sweden, GEN’s Head of Policy Advocacy Unit attended the International Training Program on Gender Statistics in Stockholm, Sweden. 30 participants from Cambodia, Ethiopia, Liberia, Zambia and Myanmar including accountants, activities for gender equality and women empowerment from government and non-governmental organisations attended. There were 6 participants from Myanmar.